As each day goes by, the more I talk myself into the Cavs’ draft. I mean, did you know ESPN did a Sports Science on Tristan Thompson!? Athletic!
Not that the segment itself matters (OMG, he planted with 1,300 lbs of force!!!), but it shows how good an athlete Thompson is and can be. The Cavs “advanced analytics” seemingly bear this out:
While many were surprised to see Thompson selected, the Cavs rely heavily on advanced analytics, which chart how effective a player will be five years down the road. When Thompson’s statistics, age and efficiency were put into Cleveland’s formula, Thompson actually had a higher rating than Irving. The numbers also ranked Thompson higher than recent big men selected in the top ten such as Greg Monroe and Derrick Favors.
So maybe Grant wasn’t completely full of shit when he says they’ve had Thompson ranked high all year.
Plus, I like the fact that Irving and Thompson are friends.
As the fourth overall pick was announced, Irving was being asked a question, but kept leaning over to the television to see who would be joining him in Cleveland. After seeing Thompson was the selection, Irving smiled and his eyes lit up.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Irving said. “Tristan is a great friend of mine, and just having another fellow freshman being drafted to Cleveland and playing with him, I’m really excited. He’s also a young player, and having somebody alongside you that will go through the rookie ups and downs with you, it will make the transition into the NBA that much easier.”
“I love it,” Thompson said. “One of my strengths and attributes is getting up and down the floor so playing with Kyrie, it’s going to be exciting. Knowing Kyrie and having a friendship prior to the draft, it’s definitely [better] having somebody there to support you and go through what you go through. He’s almost like a brother to me, and will have my back and I’ll have his. We’ll get through this together.”
It’s always better to play with someone you like rather than a jerk, no?
Both Irving and Thompson are supposed to high character guys and hard workers (Grant calls them “high-quality humans”- which is kinda weird) and combining that with their friendship (not to mention Thompson’s athleticism) I can see what the Cavs were thinking.
With nothing more to add, I give you Beats Antique, one of my post-Bonnaroo downloads. They’re fun: